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Tatev Khachatryan

Medical Mystery: Armenia Continues to Purchase Indian DiaZone MR Despite Nasty Side Effects

Armenia continues to import DiaZone MR, an Indian manufactured drug for Type-2 diabetes sufferers, despite the existence of a better quality French substitute.

Last month, Hetq reported that those suffering fromType-2 diabetes in Armenia will still be receiving DiaZone MR, a drug manufactured in India that many claim resulted in deleterious side effects like nausea and dizziness, at state-run polyclinics even though the superior French drug (Diabeton MR) is already being imported.

While the Armenian government has instructed state medical facilities to distribute the new French drug, said to produce less negative side effects, as of July 1 of this year it turns out that the Indian substitute will still be offered to patients.

This was confirmed by Armenian Deputy Minister of Health Vahan Poghosyan at a February 10 press conference. Poghosyan said that reserves of the problematic DiaZone MR wouldn’t be destroyed but rather distributed until consumed.

Surprisingly, even after the Armenian government signed a purchase contract with Servier, a French manufacturer of Diabeton MR, the health ministry imported another 4,000 packages of DiaZone MR at a cost of US$16,765 in May of this year.

On August 13, the day of the Hetq article, Armenia imported another 4,000 packages of the Indian drug.

Why Armenia continues to import the Indian drug remains a mystery.

More surprising is the fact that the cost of DiaZone MR has jumped 70% per package – from $2.5 to $4.25.

Armenia’s Ministry of Health prefers not to estimate when stockpiles of the Indian drug will be used up.

Photo: Armenian Minister of Health Armen Mouradyan

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